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Lesson Material in Child Management 

Publication No. 202 

United States Department of Labor 

Children's Bureau 



JAMES J. DAVIS, Secretary 






Lesson Material in Child Management 

Bureau Publication No. 202 




For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C. - Price 10 cents 


27 19 



Do you have a happy baby? v 

Lesson No. 1. How can you help your child to form good 

habits? 1 

No. 2. Does your child have good food habits? 4 

No. 3. How does your child get your attention? 8 

Does your child have tantrums? 9 

No. 4. Does your child always obey you? 11 

Do you always tell the truth to your child?. _ 14 
Does your child obey you when you speak to 

him quietly? 15 

Do you want your children always to wait for 

you to 'tell them what to do? 16 

No. 5. How parents teach their children to be naughty 18 

Talking about your children 19 

Something for fathers to think about 21 

No. 6. Why and how do you punish your child? 23 

Why do you punish your child? 23 

How do you punish your child? 25 

No. 7. What suggestion can do 28 

No. 8. Is your child jealous, afraid, or untruthful? 31 

Is your child jealous? 31 

Is your child afraid? 32 

Does your child tell you the truth? 33 

N®. 9. Does your child have bad physical habits? 35 

Bed wetting 35 

Thumb sucking 36 

Nail biting 37 

Does your child handle his or her sex organs?- 37 

Have you ever used a star chart? 39 

No. 10. Are you helping your child to grow up? 41 

Have you told your child where the new baby 

came from? 46 

No. 11. Does your child have the right kind of play- 
things? 49 

No. 12. The job of being a parent 53 

Important things for mothers and fathers to 

remember 59 


This series of 12 lessons was prepared from 
a manuscript by Blanche G. Weill, Ed. D., 
formerly psychologist with Dr. D. A. Thom, 
director of the habit clinics of Boston, who 
has approved the lessons. 




Does he laugh and coo while you work? 

Does he play quietly by himself while you work? 

Does your little child like the food you give him? 

Is he ready and willing to go to bed at bedtime? 

Does he love the new baby? 

Does he play happily with other children? 

Then he is happy and good. 

Does your baby cry all day? 

Does he get mad and kick and scream? 

Does your little child spit out the food he does not like? 

Does he beg you not to put him to bed? 

Does he tease the new baby? 

Of course, you do not want these things. 

We can help you to make your baby happy, but you must 
help, too. 

You must try very hard. 

You must never stop trying. 

You are tired and busy some day. Your baby is crying. 
You say, " This one time does not matter. I will pick him up. 
Then he will stop crying." 

Then your smart little baby says to himself, " Hurrah, I 
was the boss that time ! I can be boss next time." 

Before you know it, he will cry again. Will you pick him 
up again? 

Do you always give him what he wants? 

Then he will not be happy long. 

Read, this little book. It will help you to keep your baby 

happy and good. 


Do you want your child to form good habits? 

The first time you do something new it is hard. 

Next time it is easier. 

Next time it is very easy. 

Soon you can do it and not think about it at all. 

Then we call it a habit. 

You have learned eveiything that way. 

You learned to feed yourself that way when you were little. 

You learned to dress yourself that way. 

You have the habit of dressing yourself. 

You have the habit of feeding yourself. 

Your child is learning everything that way. 

He is forming habits. 

He can learn a good way to do things. 

But he can learn a bad way instead. 

He learns the way you teach him. 

Do you want to teach him the good way or the bad way? 
Do you want him to form good habits or bad habits? 
This lesson will tell you how to teach him good habits. 

Begin when he is born. 

Feed him at exactly the same hours every day. 

Do not feed him at any other time. 

Let him sleep after every feeding. 

Do not feed him just because he cries. 

Let him wait until the right time. 

If you make him wait, his stomach will learn to wait. 

His mind will learn that he can not get things by crying. 

You do two things for your baby at the same time. You 
teach his body good habits and you teach his mind good 


2 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 

You can teach him not to be a cross baby, too. 

When he cries, do not pick him up to stop his crying. 

See that no pin hurts him. 

See that he is warm and dry. 

Turn him over. 

Then let him alone. 

In that way you teach him not to fuss and cry. If mothers 
pick up their babies when they cry, the babies learn to cry 
for things. The mothers teach them to cry for things. 

Pick up the baby when he is awake and not crying. 

Play with him or talk to him quietly. 

In a little while put him down again. 

Do this at the same hours every day. 

This will show him that he will get attention when he does 
not cry. 

He will learn to wait for the right time. 

This saves you time for your work and it is good for your 

Do not let other people pick the baby up or talk to him too 

A little baby should be quiet most of the time. 

Always keep regular hours for food and baths and sleep. 

All babies are not alike. 

Some babies must eat. every four hours. Some must eat. 
every three hours. 

Your own doctor or the doctor at the clinic will give you a 
plan for your baby. 

The plan will tell you at what time your baby should sleep 
each day. 

It will also tell you how much food to give him and at what 
time to feed him. 

The doctor will also tell you how to change the plan as 
your baby grows older. 

Start your baby with good habits. Then the bad ones will 
not form easily. 

Write to the Children's Bureau at Washington, D. C, asking for 
Infant Care and The Baby's Daily Time Cards. These are free. They 
will help you to teach your baby good habits. 

How Can You Help Your Child Form Good Habits? 3 


Mrs. Guerra had her first baby at home. 
A neighbor came in to help her. 

The doctor told her to feed the baby every four hours. 
The baby cried. 

Mrs. Guerra and her friend said, "The baby is hungry; we must 
feed him." 

The baby cried soon again. Mrs. Guerra fed him again. 

She fed him many times. 

Soon the baby got sick and cross. 

His stomach was tired of working. 

The mother said, " What is the matter with my baby? " 

The baby cried all the time. 

Mrs. Guerra had her second baby at the hospital. 

The nurses took care of him. 

They fed him every four hours. 

They bathed him at the same time every day. 

They kept him clean and comfortable. 

They did not pick him up when he cried. 

They knew that babies get exercise when they cry. Babies need 

This baby was well and happy. 

The nurses said to Mrs. Guerra, " "When you go home, do as we do. 
Then your baby will be well and happy and good." 

Mrs. Guerra went home in two weeks. She did what the nurses 
told her. 

The baby was always good and happy. He was always well. 

She said : " I made a mistake before. The nurses are right. Now, 
I will see what I can do with my big baby to keep him well, too." 


1. Did the doctor tell you to feed the baby every three hours or 
every four hours? 

2. Do you look at the clock before you feed the baby? 

3. If the baby is crying at 8 o'clock and his feeding time does not 
come until 9, what do you do? 

4. When do you play with your baby? 


Everyday Problems of the Everyday Child, by D. A. Thom, M. D., pp. 
12-26. D. Appleton & Co. New York, 1927. 

Child Management, by D. A. Thom, M. D., pp. 1-3. United States Chil- 
dren's Bureau Publication No. 143 (Bevised). Washington, 1928. 

Out of Babyhood into Childhood, p. 3. United States Children's Bureau 
Folder No. 10. Washington, 1929. 

Why Sleep? pp. 4 and 8. United States Children's Bureau Folder No. 11. 
Washington, 1929. 


Does your little boy eat the things you give him? 

Or does he say, " I don't like milk " or " I won't eat vege- 
tables " ? 

A child likes to do what his parents do. He likes to say 
what they say. 

Has he seen father leave spinach on his plate? 

Then he, too, will not eat spinach. 

Has he heard mother say, " I don't like oatmeal "? 

He, too, will say, " I don't like oatmeal." 

These are bad food habits. 

You began them without knowing it. 

You can stop them. 

It is easy to start good food habits when a child is little. 

It is hard to break bad ones when he is big. 

Prepare food that is good for children. 

The doctor will tell you what are good foods for children. 

The Children's Bureau in Washington, D. C, will send you 
directions for feeding your children if you write and ask for 

Stomachs form habits like people. 

A hungry stomach makes a cross child. 
A stomach that has too much food makes a cross child, too, 
Feed your child at the same hours every day. 
See that his little hands are clean before he eats. 
Make the table look pretty. 
Call the children to the table. 
See that they sit down quietly. 
Serve each child a little of each food. 
Eat some of everything yourself. 
Show that you like everything. 
Never say, " I do not like this." 

Does Your Child Have Good Food Habits? 

Never ask your child or anyone else, " Do you like this? " 

Before you ask this, perhaps a plate of food makes him 
think, " I'm hungry; I want to eat." 

He does not think anything about like or not like. He only 
thinks, " Food — hungry — eat." 

After you ask this you make him think something new. 
" Perhaps I don't like it. No ; I don't. I won't eat it." 

He does not think any more, " Food — hungry — eat." He 
thinks, " Food — like or not like — eat or not eat." 

Then the bad food habit begins. 

This is why we must never ask anyone, " Do you like this? " 

If the child says he does not like it, pay no attention. 

Do not talk about food at all. 

If he does not eat, pay no attention. Let him go off with- 
out eating. 

It will not hurt him to miss a meal. It will not hurt him to 
miss two meals. 

Do not give him anything to eat until the next meal. 

If he does not eat at the next meal, pay no attention. 

It will not hurt him to miss three meals. Do not be afraid. 

Soon he will be hungry. 

Then he will eat what you give him. 

Watch your child if he does not want any food. He may 
be getting sick. 

Does your child make you feed him? 

This is a bad food habit. Perhaps you began it this way : 

Perhaps you fed him even after he was 2 years old. It 
was quicker for you. It is hard to teach a baby to feed him- 
self. It takes much time. 

Now he is 3 years old. It takes too much time to feed him. 
It is bad for you. It is bad for him, too. He has not learned 
to be independent. He must learn now. 

Let your 1-year-old baby try to feed himself. 

He will spill some at first. Let him. 

He will soon learn. Then he will be happy and good. 

6 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 

Are you afraid your child will not eat enough? 

You beg him to eat. You promise him something nice if 
he will eat. 

He likes that. He says to himself, " I will not eat. If I cry 
or fuss, by and by I will get something nice." 

So he will never eat until you promise him something. 

He learned this. You were his teacher. 

Do you give your child food that is not good for children? 

You have made him sick. 

A sick baby will not eat. A sick baby is cross. 

Do you give your child too much food at one time? 

Stomachs must not work too hard. 

Do you try to make him eat when he is too tired or angry 
to be hungry? 

Food will not digest then. 

Remember that people digest food well when they are 
happy and quiet. 

Try to make every meal a happy, quiet time. 


Tommy was very happy. He had come to the summer camp. He 
liked the boys; he liked the long automobile ride; he liked the director; 
and he liked the camp in the big trees near the river. 

Then came dinner. The boys sat on benches at long tables. First 
came soup. Tommy said, " I don't like soup." 

No one paid attention. 

Then came stew, with meat, potatoes, onions, and carrots. Tommy 
said, " I don't like stew. Please give me some chops." 

The director said, " That's too bad. To-night we have stew." 

All the other boys ate their stew. Tommy ate nothing. No one 
paid attention. Tommy said, " I want to go home. My mother gives 
me what I like." He went to bed and cried. 

For breakfast they had corn-meal mush and cocoa. Tommy did 
not like corn meal nor cocoa. He wanted coffee. Again he did not eat. 
No one paid attention. Tommy was very hungry and unhappy. 

For lunch they had vegetable salad and rice. Tommy never ate 
vegetables at home, but he was very hungry. He forgot he did not like 
vegetables. He ate everything on his plate. 

After that he ate everything that came on the table and was very 
happy at camp. 

Does Your Child Have Good Food Habits? 


1. When Johnny does not want to eat his luncheon, what do 
you do? 

2. If Mary says she does not like carrots, how do you teach her to 
eat them? 

3. Do you make the table more attractive and eating more pleas- 
ant for the children by sometimes buying pretty dishes at the 10-cent 
store especially for them? 

4. How can you arrange your work so as to allow your child time 
enough to feed himself? 

5. How do you teach your child to feed himself? 

6. What have you done to make mealtime in your home a quiet, 
happy time? Are there other things you can do to make it even 


Everyday Problems of the Everyday Child, by D. A. Thom, M. D., 
pp. 50-70. D. Appleton & Co. New York, 1927. 

Child Management, by D. A. Thom, M. D., pp. 8-10. United States Chil- 
dren's Bureau Publication No. 143 (Revised). Washington, 1928. 

Out of Babyhood into Childhood, pp. 8-10. United States Children's 
Bureau Folder No. 10. Washington, 1929. 

Keeping the Well Baby Well, pp. 3, 4. United States Children's Bureau 
Folder No. 9. Washington, 1928. 



Children want attention very much. 
They will do anything to get attention. 

Sometimes they do something bad to get attention. 

They are punished. That hurts. But they do not like to 
get no attention at all. 

It is worth the hurt to get attention. 

That seems queer, but it is true. 

Many children do naughty things and run so that some one 
will run after them. They are the center of attention then. 

There is another way to be the center of attention. 

It is to do nice things. 

Then people like us. 

We grown-ups want people to like us. We want people to 
like the things we do. We want them to show us that they like 
those things. 

Children are just the same as we are. 

We must remember to show them we are pleased when 
they do nice things. 

Show them you are glad when they try to feed themselves 
and when they try to dress themselves. Perhaps they do not 
do it well. That does not matter. 

Show them you are glad when they try to help you set the 
table, or sweep, or put things away. 

Show them you are glad when they do quickly what you tell 

If the children see that they can get attention by being good, 
they will be good. 

And they will be busy and happy, too. 


How Does Your Child Get Your Attention? 9 


Does your child kick and scream if you do not let him do 
what he wants? We call this a tantrum. 

Perhaps he has tantrums because he does not get enough 

Perhaps he does not get enough play. 

Children need much sleep and much play. 

Perhaps your child has enough sleep and enough play, and 
still he has tantrums. 

Perhaps you talk loud and get angry. Then your child 
does what you do. 

Perhaps you will not let him do things for himself. Chil- 
dren want to be independent. If you will not let them do 
things for themselves, strong children will kick and scream. 
You are making them naughty when you do not let them try to 
do things alone. Remember it does not matter if they do not 
do as well as you. They will learn after a while. 

When your child kicks and screams, do you let him do what 
he wants so that he will be quiet? 

If you do, he thinks, " When I seream, I get what I want. 
I will always scream." 

A baby is never too young to learn this. Babies 2 weeks 
old learn it. 

If the child sees that you pay no attention when he kicks 
and screams or whines he will think, " That is no good. I will 
stop and try something else." 

He will always stop if he gets no attention. 

Sometimes it takes a long, long time to make him believe 
that you will not pay attention. 

But keep on with what you are doing. Act as if nobody 
were in the room. In the end the child will stop. 

Next time he will try it again, but he will stop sooner. After 
a while, if you never pay attention to the tantrums, he will lose 
the bad habit. 

It all depends on you and on the people who live around 
you. Children learn from what they see and hear around 

10 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 


Molly was a happy little girl. She had so many nice things to do. 

Sometimes she asked her mother for something, and her mother 
said " No." Then she played with something else. 

One day new neighbors came to live next door. They had a little 
girl just .as old as Molly. But she was not a happy little girl. She cried 
and screamed until she got what she wanted. 

Molly could hear her. She could hear the mother say, "Yes, yes; 
only stop that noise! " 

Molly thought, " That is the way to get things. I will do that, too." 

She said to her mother, " Please give me some candy." 

Mother said, " You may have some after supper." 

Molly began to cry. " But I want it now! " she said. 

" Not till supper," said mother. 

Then Molly started to kick and scream the way the other little girl 
did. But mother did not say, "Yes, yes; only stop that noise!" She 
picked Molly up, put her into her room, and said, " Stay here till you 
are a nice girl." Then she went out and closed the door. 

Molly thought, " That is not a good way to get things. I won't 
try it any more." She stopped crying. 

Mother came and smiled at her. Molly smiled back. 

They both were very happy. 


1. What do you do or say when your child acts naughty before 
company? Why does your child act naughty before company? 

2. When your child tries to wash his hands and face to surprise 
you, and dirties a nice, clean towel, how do you show him that you 
are glad he tried to please you? 

3. What do you do if your child whines or cries when you are 
getting ready to leave him for a few hours? 

4. Do you let your little baby get what he wants by crying? What 
do you do when he cries hard to be picked up? 

5. Do you stay with your baby or your little child when you put 
him to bed at night? What should you do? 

6. How often does your child have a temper tantrum? How do 
you manage it? What should you do? 


Everyday Problems of the Everyday Child, by D. A. Thorn, M. D., 

pp. 34-37 and 135-149. D. Appleton & Co., New York, 1927. 
Child Management, by D. A. Thorn, M. D., pp. 25-32. United States 

Children's Bureau Publication No. 143 (Bevised). Washington, 

Why Sleep? p. 3. United States Children's Bureau Folder No. 11. 

Washington, 1929. 



Do you think you should expect your little child to obey 
you always? 

A little child 2 or 3 years old will not always obey you. 
You must not expect him to. 

He does not always understand what you expect of him. 
He is not old enough to know why he should obey you. 
He will learn as he grows. 

Do not nag him about little things that do not matter very 

Always ask for obedience from a very small child in 
important things. 

Such things are: 

Going to bed and getting up at a certain time. 

Going to the toilet regularly. 

Picking up his toys. 

Eating his meals regularly. 

Never playing in the street or crossing it without 

You must decide what the most important things are. 

See that your child knows what things you think are 

Then always be consistent in asking for obedience. Being 
consistent means doing the same thing in the same way every 

Then your child will learn to obey in little things too. 

116952°— 30 2 .11 

12 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 

Perhaps sometimes your child does not obey you. Have 
you ever tried to think why he does not? 

1. Often he does not hear you at all when he is 
playing hard. 

Be sure he is listening before you tell him what 
to do. 

Be sure he has heard you before you punish 
him for not obeying. 

2. Perhaps you tell him to do something. Then 
you are not careful to see that he has done it. You 
forget about it. He soon learns that he does not need 
to do what you say because you often forget. 

3. Perhaps he acts cross and ugly because he is 
sleepy and tired. 

Did he get his afternoon nap? 
Does he go to bed at the same time every day? 
Children must have much sleep if they are 
to be happy and good. 

4. Do you let him do something one day and pun- 
ish him for doing it the next day? 

That will make him think, "Perhaps she 
won't punish me this time. I'll take a chance." 

You see he does not know when to believe you. 

But he does know that he need not obey you 
all the time. 

5. Do you tell him you will give him something 
nice if he will obey? 

This is a bribe. 

You are teaching him the habit of not obeying 
until he gets some pay out of it. 

You are teaching him to wait for a bribe. 

6. Do you try to scare him to make him do what 
you want? 

This is called a threat. Then one of two things 
may happen: 

He gets used to threats and stops minding 
because he knows they will not hurt him. He 
knows you do not do what you threaten. 
Or you make him afraid of everything. 

Does Your Child Always Obey You? 13 

7. Do you ever break your promises to the chil- 

Do you trust people who do not keep their 
promises? Children are just the same. 

When you do not keep your promises you 
teach them not to trust you. 

They do not believe you. 

They do not obey people they can not trust. 

8. A child likes excitement very much. He often 
does things he knows are naughty because it is exciting 
to see you get angry. He thinks this a good reason not 
to obey. 

9. Some things are important to parents, but chil- 
dren do not think they are important at all. Other 
things are important to children. Children do not 
think it is important to come to dinner when they are 
busy building a block house. 

When you give a command to your child, try 
to give him some time to finish what he is doing. 
Warn him 5 minutes before dinner is ready or 
5 minutes before bedtime has come. Then he 
can finish his play and pick up his toys before he 
must do what you want. 

10. Do you tell your child to do things he really 
can not do? 

A little child can not sit still very long. 
He can not keep from making a noise most of 
the time. 


Little Teddy was making a fairyland in the back yard. He had 
found some pretty stones and some birds' feathers, and some tiny flowers 
and leaves. He was building the loveliest fairyland. 

He was singing to himself beause he was so happy. He was so 
busy working that he did not hear anything. He did not hear the dog 
bark. He did not hear the " toot-toot " of the automobiles. He did not 
hear his mother call him. 

She thought he did. She thought he was naughty because he did 
not come. 

She ran down into the yard and stepped right into the middle of 

She took Teddy by the arm and slapped him. 

He cried very hard. He tried to tell her he really didn't hear. H© 
tried to tell her about fairyland. But she did not understand. 

She did n@t know that she had hurt him very much. 

It was not the slap that hurt. She had broken his beautiful fairy- 

14 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 

Think hard. 

If you promise your child something, do you always give it 
to him? 

Do you always punish him when you say you will? 

Do you always carry out your threats? A threat is a prom- 
ise that something bad will happen. 

Do you tell him the policeman will take him to jail? This 
is a threat. You know it is not true. 

Your child will soon find out that it is not true. He will 
not believe you any more. 

If you do not always do what you say you will, your baby 
will soon learn that you do not mean what you say. 

He will not care what you say, because he does not believe 
you. So, of course, he will not mind you. 

There was a mother who tried very hard to keep her promises 

If she said " No," she stuck to it. 

If she said " Yes," she stuck to it. 

One day she said " No " to what the child asked for, but he kept 
on teasing for it. They were at a party. 

At last she said, " Don't you know that when mother says ' No ' 
she never, never changes her mind?" 

" Once you did," answered her little boy. 

You see, he never forgot that one time she did not keep her word. 
He thought, " We are at a party. She doesn't want me to make trouble. 
She will let me have it as she did once before to make me stop teasing. 
I will tease till I get it again." 

Does Your Child Always Obey You? 15 



Sometimes you tell your child to do something. He pays 
no attention. 

You tell him again, louder. He pays no attention. 

You tell him again, with your voice very loud and angry. 
Then he does it. 

He knows by your voice that it is time to obey. He has 
learned to tell by your voice just how long he can disobey. He 
knows it does not matter how loud you talk when your voice 
is not angry. He knows he must obey quickly when your voice 
is angry. Something will happen to him if he does not obey 

Do you talk loud in your home? That makes your home 
very noisy. Noise is bad for people, both for children and for 
grown-ups. It makes them nervous. 

They get angry more quickly; and when they are nervous 
and angry they will soon be naughty. 

It is good always to speak quietly. The children will listen. 
They will not be nervous or angry. 

Some parents teach their children to obey the first time 
they speak. They do not speak loud. They do not speak 
angrily. They speak quietly, but their children have learned 
to obey the first time. They have learned it is better for them, 
because nice things happen when they mind quickly and bad 
things happen when they do not. Perhaps, if they obey, they 
may go on an errand with daddy. Perhaps mother will tell a 
story. Perhaps she will kiss her little child and say, " You make 
mother so happy." Perhaps she will say, "You may ask 
Tommy to come over and play," 

16 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 


Some children never do anything by themselves. They 
never think for themselves. They have to wait until somebody 
tells them what to do. They can not plan their own play and 

When they grow big they do not know how to be inde- 
pendent. They get into trouble because they do whatever 
people tell them. They do not know how to think for 

You must teach your children to think for themselves what 
is the right thing to do. They must learn to plan their own 
play and work. Even if their plan does not seem best to you, 
let them work it out themselves. Praise them for trying all 

Three-year-old Jimmy was very happy. He was giving his mother 
a surprise. He was washing the dishes for her while she was making 
the beds. 

He thought how happy she would be. She would say, " Such a 
big boy!" and hug him. 

Suddenly a big cup fell out of his little hand. Crash! Bang! 
Mother came rushing in. 

She did not stop to think that her baby was trying to help. She 
spanked him because he had broken a cup. 

After that he was afraid to help. He was afraid to do anything 
unless his mother had told him to do it. She always got angry if he 
tried to do anything alone. 

When he went to school, he always did what people told him. 
He did what the boys told him. 

There were bad boys around. They told him to do bad things. He 
was afraid not to do them. 

Everyone thought he was a bad boy. 

He was obeying, but he did not think for himself whether he was 
doing the right thing. He did what anybody told him. 

One day some boys told him to help them steal some money from 
a store. 

He did not want to steal, but he thought he must do as he was told. 
The boys made him go into the store and take the money while they 
stayed in a safe place. 

Are you teaching your child to think for himself? 

Does Your Child Always Obey You? 17 


1„ Your little boy enjoys reading very much. He is busy reading 
his book when you tell him dinner is ready. He does not hear you. 
What do you do or say? 

2. You have taken your child to see a movie or hear a concert that 
he can not understand. You ask him again and again to be quiet and 
sit still. Why does he disobey you? 

3. You may need to have your little girl help you with the baby 
when you are very busy. The other little girls are calling for her to 
play with them. How do you make her feel happy about helping with 
the baby? What would you do if she disobeyed you and went out to 
play instead of helping? 

4. What do you promise your child when he is good? When he is 
naughty? Do you always see that be gets these things? 

5. Do you expect your child to obey you? 

6. Do you ever say to his father before him that you can not make 
him obey you? 

7. Do you delay punishment until his father comes home? Why is 
this not a good thing to do? Do you think your child will ever learn to 
obey you if he knows that you think you can not manage him? 

8. Do you let your child try to do things all alone? 


Everyday Problems of the Everyday Child, by D. A. Thorn, M. D., pp. 
116-134. D. Appleton & Co. New York, 1927. 

Child Management, by D. A. Thorn, M. D., pp. 33-35. United States Chil- 
dren's Bureau Publication No. 143 (Revised). Washington, 1928. 

Out of Babyhood into Childhood, p. 5. United States Children's Bureau 
Folder No. 10. Washington, 1929. 

Why Sleep? p. 4. United States Children's Bureau Folder No. 11. Wash- 
ington, 1929. 


Is your child naughty? Is he selfish? Does he show off? 
Perhaps you have made him like this. 

Are you nicer to one child than to another? 

Do you try to make children do things that are not impor- 
tant just to show that you are the boss? Children do not want 
to mind then. They feel just as grown-up people feel. 

Do you laugh at your child sometimes when he is naughty 
and sometimes when he is good? How will he know which 
thing to do to please you? 

Do you punish the children when you are angry? That 
makes them angry, too. They will do still naughtier things. 

Do you punish too hard? If you do, the children will lie 
so as to get out of being punished. 

Do you leave things around that children want to have? 
You make it easy, then, for the children to take them. You 
make it easy for them to do wrong. 

Do you always speak and act the truth? If a friend calls 
up and asks you to go to the movies, and your boy is answering 
the telephone, do you say to him, " I don't want to go. Tell her 
I have a headache "? Perhaps the next morning your boy will 
" have a headache " when it is time to go to school. 

How Parents Teach Their Children to be Naughty 19 

Does your child whine and cry when it is time to go to bed? 
Perhaps you have been putting him to bed in the daytime to 
punish him. Perhaps you have let him stay up late some night 
to see visitors or to go with you to a movie. He does not want 
to go to bed because he thinks he will miss some fun. 

Are you letting your Utile child grow up and begin to be 
independent of you. Or are you trying to keep him a baby? 

Children want to do things for themselves. If you will not 
let your child try, he may kick and scream. Then you are 
making him naughty. 

Some parents do not stop to think that their little one is 
trying to help. They only see a broken cup or something spilled 
on the floor. Then they scold the child and make him stop 
helping. He learns it is safer for him not to help. When you 
want him to help later he will not do it. You will find that he 
is selfish and lazy. Who made him selfish and lazy? 

Do you talk about your child before him? 

Most parents do. 

They think the child is not paying attention. They think he 
is too little to understand. Many times they do not think at all. 

But children do pay attention and they do understand — 
even very little children — even babies. 

Your Johnny is 3 years old. Perhaps he heard you say, 
" No, I can't go so early, because Johnny cries and won't go to 
sleep unless I sit with him." Then he will think, " She says I 
can make her stay with me. I will always cry when she starts 
to go out. Then I can make her stay with me all the time." 

You have taught him this because you said before him that 
you had to obey him when he cried. 

Another day at breakfast you say, " Father, can you make 
Johnny eat his cereal? I can't." 

Johnny has two ears. He hears every word you say. 

He is a smart little boy. He knows what you mean. 

He says to himself, " Mother says she can't make me eat my 
cereal. I don't have to mind. I can just say, ' I won't.' " 

20 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 

Johnny goes with you to the well-baby clinic. He hears 
you say to the nurse, " He doesn't like vegetables. I can't make 
him eat them." 

He is with you when you go to the doctor's, and he hears 
you say, " I can't make him take that medicine." 

Do you expect Johnny to obey you after he has heard you 
say all these things? You have told people again and again 
that you can not make him obey. He has heard you. So he 
believes you can not make him obey. 

Of course he will disobey you. You have taught him to. 

Are you going to go on talking before him? 

You have a younger child, only 2 years old. Do you talk 
before her, too? 

Children 2 years old can not understand your words 
always, but they can understand your voice and your face. 
They know when you are talking about them. They know 
when you expect them to obey and when you expect them to 
disobey. They can tell from your voice. 

Sometimes you tell some one about a smart thing your 
child has done. 

He hears you, of course. He thinks, " I'm a smart boy ! My 
mother says so ! " 

After that every time he says something he looks around 
to see if you are paying attention. He wants you to talk about 
him some more. He thinks everything he does is smart. 

Is that the kind of child you want him to be? 

Of course you want to tell your husband and your friends 
the funny things he says. But wait until he is out playing or 
in bed. Then he will not hear you talking about him. 

How Parents Teach Their Children to be Naughty 21 


Does your child say to you sometimes, " Mother says I can't 
go, but I can, can't I? You tell her I can "? 

What do you say? 

Do you say, " Let him go. It's all right " ? 

Or do you say, " If your mother said ' No,' it's ' No.' What 
she says, I say "? 

Which do you think is better for the child? 

Suppose you said, " Yes, you may go." Does that teach the 
child to obey his mother? Does that teach him to respect her? 

Does not that make him think, " It does not matter what 
mother says; I do not have to obey her "? 

If you think mother has made a mistake, or if she thinks 
you have made a mistake, talk about it together where the child 
will not hear you. 

// you talk about the children before them and if you do not 
agree, they will learn to disobey one of you. You do not want 


It was supper time. Mr. and Mrs. Green and little Sally were sitting 
at the table. 

Sally was only 4 years old, so she had some custard for her dessert 
Her father and mother had pie. 

Sally saw the pie and began to cry. " I don't like my supper. I 
want some pie. I won't eat my supper!" 

Her father said, " Here, I'll give you some of my pie." 

" No," said Mrs. Green, " pie is not good for children. She must 
learn not to cry for things." 

But Mr. Green did not listen. " I told her I would give her some of 
my pie. Here is some. Now stop crying." 

Mrs. Green tried to stop him. " No, no. She must not have pie. 
The doctor says it is not good for her." 

Mr. Green got angry. " A little pie can't hurt her. She is my 
child. I had pie when I was a child," and he put the pie on Sally's 

Sally had been listening to every word. She thought, " Now I know 
how to get things. If mother says no, I'll wait until father comes 
home. Then I will cry. He will give it to me when I cry hard," 

22 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 


1. Do you and your husband ever amuse yourselves or your 
friends by teasing your child? What do you think would be the result? 
Will it make your child happy and friendly; or will it make him sullen 
and cross? 

2. What do you do if your child " shows off " before your com- 
pany? Do you punish him in front of the company or do you take him 
to his own room and pay no attention to him? Which is better? 

3. Father comes home and brings Johnny a nice candy toy. 
Mother has promised to punish Johnny by not letting him have candy 
for a week. What do father and mother say? Where do they say it? 

4. If you always give your children what they want when they 
cry for it, your love is selfish, isn't it? Can you think of any other 
kinds of selfish love? 

5. When should you pay most attention to your child? When he 
is good or when he is naughty? Why should you not talk about your 
child before him? 

6. When you laugh at something your child has done, what does 
he think? 

7. How can you show that you are pleased in a better way than 


Everyday Problems of the Everyday Child, by D. A. Thom, M. D., 
pp. 193-206 and 237-256. D. Appleton & Co. New York, 1927. 

Out of Babyhood into Childhood, pp. 4, 5. United States Children's 
Bureau Folder No. 10. Washington, 1929. 

Why Sleep? p. 6. United States Children's Bureau Folder No. 11. 
Washington, 1929. 




Do you punish him because you think he is naughty and 
you want to make him good? Are you sure that he is really 
naughty and not just playing some game or trying to help? 

Do you punish him because what he is doing annoys you 
and you want him to stop ? 

Do you punish him just to " pay him back " because he has 
done something naughty? 

Do you punish him just because you are tired, and so get 
angry easily? 

These are not good reasons for punishing him. 
They are not fair to the child. 
They do not make him good. 
They do not make him want to be good. 
They only teach him to keep out of your way when you 
are tired or angry. 

There is only one good reason to punish a child. That is 
to make him understand that he must not do the naughty thing 

But before you punish you must be sure that what he is 
doing is really naughty. It is not naughty for a child to be 
noisy. It is not naughty for him to want to move about. It is 
not naughty for him to want to get hold of things. 

Children need to move and make a noise. They need to 
hold things in their hands to find out about them. 

Of course they do not need to be too noisy. They do not 
need to be rough. You must stop them if they do these things 
too much, but you must be very sure they are too much before 
you stop them. 

Do you punish your child again and again for doing the 
same naughty thing? Do you have to punish your child often 
for different things? If so, he is probably being naughty just 
to attract your attention. If you will give him attention when 
he is good and pay no attention to him when he is naughty, he 
will stop being naughty to get attention. 


24 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 

Do you punish him when he is fretful because he is sleepy? 
Perhaps he has not been going to bed early enough; or perhaps 
he does not sleep in the afternoons. 

Many times children are punished because their mothers 
are tired and cross. Is that fair? 

When people are tired, little things make them cross. The 
baby plays with the kitchen pans one day, and his mother is 
glad. She says, "What a good baby! He plays all alone so 
nicely ! " 

Next day mother has done much washing and is very tired. 
Baby is playing with the pans again; the noise makes her cross. 
Perhaps she takes the pans away; or perhaps she slaps the baby. 

Is that fair? The baby was doing the same to-day as he 
was yesterday, when mother said he was good. He was not 
banging the pans too much. 

Did that mother punish because the baby was naughty or 
because she herself was tired and nervous? 

A mother should take time for some rest each day. Then 
she will not be tired and nervous. Then she will not punish 
the baby so much. 

A mother was whipping her boy very hard. A friend said 
to her, " Does it do him any good to whip him so hard? " 

The mother answered, " Maybe it doesn't do him any good, 
but it does me lots of good." 

Is that the way we ought to think about punishment? • 

Children understand that they must be punished when they 
are naughty. They know when a punishment is fair. 

They know it is fair to have to play alone if they have been 
teasing the other children. 

They know it is fair not to have a new toy when they have 
been careless with the old one and broken it. 

They know it is fair not to be given dessert or candy when 
they have not eaten their vegetables. 

They know it is fair not to be allowed to go to town with 
mother if they have not stopped playing in time to get ready. 

They do not like these punishments, of course, but they 
do know that they are fair. 

Why and How Do You Punish Your Child? 25 


Some punishments are better than others. 

Do you spank your child? 

Do you scold and scream at him? 

Do you shut him in the closet? 

Do you keep him from outdoor play? 

— or — 
Do you put him in his room all by himself and shut the 

Do you send him to bed if he is tired? 

Do you pay no attention to him? 

Do you refuse to let him have some pleasure or treat? 

A wise mother does not need to spank or slap her child 
very often. She does not shut her child in the closet. She does 
not scold or scream at him. She does not keep him from out- 
door play. 

She knows better ways than that. 

Perhaps her Johnny has been hurting the children he plays 
with. Then he can not play with them until he is ready to play 
nicely. If he forgets and hurts them again, he has to play alone 
some more. 

Johnny's mother will do this again and again until he learns 
he must not hurt the children he plays with. He will learn this 
after a while because, of course, he wants to play with them. 
Children do not like to be alone. 

Perhaps Johnny has not come straight home from school; 
or perhaps he does not come in when mother calls him. When 
he does come, she says, " You did not come in on time, so you 
can not have any dessert to-night." 

She does not say, " To-morrow you can not go out to play," 
because she knows Johnny needs to play out in the fresh air. 
It would be bad for him to go without play, and it would be bad 
for him to go without fresh air. It will not be bad for him to 
go without dessert. 

26 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 

Sometimes children do naughty things because they are 
tired. A tired child is like a sick child. He needs to go to bed. 
Then he can rest and be quiet. He will not be naughty when 
he is rested. 

A baby who cries because he is hungry is not naughty. He 
stops crying when he is fed. It is just the same with a tired 

Some children are naughty just to get attention. The best 
punishment for them is not to pay attention to them. That is 
the way to punish temper tantrums and fussiness about food. 

The best way of all is to keep your child from needing to 
be punished. 

You can do this if you start right when your child is a 

Pay attention to him when he is good. Do not wait until 
he is naughty. 

Always do what you promise. 

Speak and act the truth to your child. 

Do not threaten even a baby with punishments that can 
not be carried out. 

Always be consistent in treatment of a child. Do not laugh 
at or praise him for something to-day and scold or punish for 
the same thing to-morrow. 

Be sure your child is really naughty before you punish him. 

Do not expect him to sit still or be quiet all the time. Let 
him have plenty of outdoor play where he can run and jump 
and climb. 

If you need to punish him, the best way is to take some 
pleasure or treat away from him, or to leave him in a room by 
himself and pay no attention to him. He should understand 
that he must not do the naughty thing again. Do not laugh at 
him when he is naughty. 

Why and How Do You Punish Your Child? 27 

Keep your child so busy with interesting things to do that 
he will not have time to be naughty. 

If you do not like what the child is doing, give him some- 
thing else to do. Do not scold him. The things in your house 
are the most interesting toj^s your baby has. He wants to find 
out all about them. Let him have the things he can not break. 
Put away the things he should not have so that he will not see 
them. Then he will not ask for them, and you will not have to 
say no. 


1. You take your little boy to visit one of your friends. He talks 
too much. He breaks a dish. Do you punish him? When? Why? 
How? Whose fault was it that the dish was broken? 

2. If you do not punish him, what do you do to get him to act 

3. Name the things you do to punish your children. What pun- 
ishment do you use for each kind of naughtiness? 


Everyday Problems of the Everyday Child, by D. A. Thorn, M .D., 
pp. 116-134. D. Appleton & Co. New York, 1927. 

Child Management, by D. A. Thorn, M. D., pp. 33-35. United States 
Children's Bureau Publication No. 143 (Revised). Washington, 

Out of Babyhood into Childhood, p. 6. United States Children's Bureau 
Folder No. 10. Washington, 1929. 

Why Sleep? p. 4. United States Children's Bureau Folder No 11. 
Washington, 1929. 
116952°— 30 3 


Did anyone ever say to you, "Aren't you feeling well? You 
look tired"? 

Then you felt tired, didn't you? 

The question put it into your mind. It suggested to you 
that you were tired. 

Sometimes you get excited. 

Sometimes you get frightened. Then the baby gets excited 
and frightened too. 

Babies know when you are excited or frightened. They 
hear it when you speak. They feel it when you hold them. 

So you must always keep quiet and cool. Then the baby 
will be quiet and happy. 

Do you say to your child, "Go and have a good time"? 
You are putting the happy thought of a good time into his mind. 

Do you say to him, " Don't run and play too hard. You 
will get excited and stay awake to-night"? You are suggesting 
to him not to go to sleep. 

Many things get into our minds in that way. 

Good ways to think and bad ways to think can be put into 
our minds. 

Mothers and fathers must be careful to suggest to their 
children only good ways of thinking. 

Do you say in front of your child, " Johnny looks tired. I 
think he must have a headache "? 

Do you ask your child, "Do you feel tired? Have you a 
headache? " 

He will see that you are worrying about his health. He will 
worry himself, and that will make him worse. 

You can help to make your child sickly or nervous. Do not 
talk about the sickness or nervousness of anyone before him. 

What Suggestion Can Do 29 

If you think your child is really tired or has a headache, 
put him to bed. Tell him why. Say, " You are acting like a 
tired child so you must take a nap and rest." 

If he is really tired or sick, he will probably go to sleep. 
Keep the other children away from him. When he wakes, let 
him amuse himself quietly. Perhaps he is making believe he 
is sick or tired so he can get attention. 

If he is not tired or sick, he will not want to stay in bed 
and amuse himself. It is no fun to be in bed in the daytime. 
He will not try that trick again. 

You can help to make your child strong and healthy. Sug- 
gest strength and health to him when you talk to him and when 
you talk before him. 


Harry came to play in Dick's yard while his mother went to town. 

Dick said, " Let's play horse." 

Harry said, " My mother says I get a headache when I run." 

" Then's let's make mud pies," said Dick. 

" I mustn't get dirty. My mother says dirt is germs and germs 
make you sick," answered poor Harry. 

" Let's build a store with those big boxes," said Dick. 

" All right," said Harry, and they played happily until Harry's 
mother came for him. 

As soon as she saw him she said, " Oh, darling, you have been 
playing too hard. How do you feel?" 

Harry forgot about the good time he had had. 

" I have a pain right here," and he put his hand on his stomach. 

His mother shook her head. " He is such a nervous child," she 
said to Dick's mother; " his stomach gets upset every time he plays 
hard. Come home, darling, and get rested." 

Harry's mother put it into his mind that he had a pain; she sug- 
gested the pain to him when he really wasn't sick. 

After Harry went home, Dick's mother said, " I am glad that all 
the boys and girls in our family are well and strong, Dick, so you can 
all run and jump and play hard. Come and have your dinner now. You 
must be hungry after your morning's play outdoors. After your nap 
you can go out again." 

30 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 

You can make good suggestions. 

You can say, " My baby eats his cereal very well." 

The baby will know that you are pleased. 

He will watch your face. He will listen to your voice. He 
will eat more. 

You can say, " Johnny is learning to eat vegetables just like 
his big brother," or "Annie is getting to be a big girl because she 
has learned to put on her own shoes." Johnny will try even 
harder to eat everything. Annie will try to button her clothes 
herself. They know that you like them to try. 

You can say when you weigh Johnny at the clinic, " Johnny 
is getting to be such a big, strong boy. He drinks his milk and 
eats his food just as his father does." Johnny will like to be 
like his father. He will do what he sees his father do. 

You can make good suggestions also by what you do. Little 
children like to copy you and try to do just what "grown- 
ups " do. 

If you like and eat vegetables and cereal every day, your 
children will copy you. 

If you are happy and sing at your work, your children will 
be happy and try to sing at their play. 


1. If your child tells you when he awakens that his head hurts or 
that he is too tired to go to school, what do you do? Does what you do 
depend on how often he complains? 

2. If some one in your family is on a special diet, how do you 
teach your child that he can eat everything that is put before him? 

3. What do you do when your child falls on the street and comes 
to you crying? 

4. Can you think of a good suggestion which you have made to 
your child to-day? Can you think of a bad one? 

5. Have you ever noticed that your child listens to you when you 
are talking to some one else about him? What will he think of what 
you say? 


Everyday Problems of the Everyday Child, by D. A. Thorn, M. D., 

pp. 31, 69, and 96-99. D. Applcton & Co. New York, 1927. 
Child Management, by D. A. Thorn, M. D., pp. 2, 4, 5, 9, 10, and 16. 

United States Children's Bureau Publication No. 143 (Revised). 

Washington, 1928. 
Out of Babyhood into Childhood, p. 2. United States Children's Bureau 

Folder No. 10. Washington, 1929. 



Nobody likes a jealous person. 

A jealous person is never happy. 

He may feel lonely and helpless. He may feel angry and 
full of hate. 

A jealous person is selfish. He is angry when others get 
ahead of him. He does not work well with others. He does not 
do his best because he thinks everyone is against him. 

You can make Bobby jealous — by pretending to love the 
new baby better — by saying, " Why aren't you a good boy like 
Sammy ? " 

You can keep Bobby from feeling jealous. Tell him when 
a new baby is coming. Tell him how he can love the baby and 
care for him. 

Tell him how the baby will love him. Let him help you get 
things ready for the baby. 

Praise him whenever you can. 

Treat all the children alike. 


Tony was 5 years old when the new baby came. 

No one had told him about the baby. 

The baby took all his mother's time. When Tony said, " I want to 
go for a walk," his mother said, " I have no time. I must bathe the 

Tony was very lonely and unhappy. He wanted his mother to pay 
attention to him. He hated his baby brother. 

When his father came home, he teased Tony. He said, " You're not 
my baby any more. I have another baby now." 

Tony cried. He grew more and more jealous. 

He thought, " My mother and father loved me before this baby 
came. I will kill the baby. Then they will love me again." 

He got the hammer and tried to hit the baby. But his mother saw 
him and took the hammer from him. 

She saw he was jealous and she felt very sorry. She said, " Tony, 
of course I love you. I love you just as much as the baby. You are 
my big boy. You must help me take care of the baby. Then the baby 
will love you, too." 

Tony was happy again. 

Now he loves his baby brother. He is not jealous any more. 


32 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 


Do you ever scare your child by saying, " The doctor cuts 
the fingers off little boys who touch things " ? 

Do you sometimes say, " The policeman will get you if you 
are not quiet "? 

Or do you say, " Mother will ask the ragman to take you 
away in his big bag "? 

You are making your small boy afraid of people who are 
his friends. 

He will also soon learn that what you say is not true. He 
will not trust you. 

Teach him to know that the doctor always wants to make 
him feel better. The policeman will help him to cross the 
street. The ragman wants to show him his nice friendly dog. 

Do you make your child afraid by saying to him, " Look 
out, you will fall and hurt yourself," when you see him trying 
to climb on a fence or a ladder? 

It is better to teach your child to like to try new things. 
Teach him to climb up the stairs alone. Then teach him to 
climb down alone. Then he will not be afraid of falling, and 
you need not be afraid. 

Do you ever let him hear you say, " Johnny is afraid of the 
dark just as I am," or " Johnny is afraid of dogs — he gets it from 
his father " ? Of course, Johnny will be afraid of the dark or of 
dogs if you suggest to him that he is. 

When your child was a little baby he was not afraid of 
the dark. Do not let him become afraid either by scaring him 
with loud noises in the dark or by suggesting that he may be 

Do not use punishments which make children afraid of 
the dark. Punish them by keeping away something they like 
or by leaving them all alone in a lighted room. Children do 
not like to be left all alone. When they are good they can come 
and play in the room with you. 

There are some things you must teach your child to be 
afraid of. He must learn to be afraid of getting run over. He 
must learn to be afraid of the hot stove. ' He must learn to be 
careful of things that can hurt him. 

Try to help your child to understand the things he fears. 

Is Your Child Jealous, Afraid, or Untruthful? 33 


Some people think that when children say something that 
is not exactly true, it is a lie. They think that all lies are just 
the same. 

That is a mistake. There are different kinds of lies. One 
kind is the lie to get other people into trouble. The person who 
tells this kind of lie is cruel. He is a coward, too. 

Many children tell lies that are different from this. They 
are not such bad lies. The children tell these lies because they 
do not want to be punished for something they have done. 
Such lies are not mean and cruel, because they are not told in 
order to get other people into trouble. They are told to save 
the children themselves. 

We need not be frightened about such lies, but we must 
teach our children not to be afraid to tell what they have done. 
We must teach them that we all pay for the bad things that 
we do. We must show them that we are pleased if they tell 
the truth. 

Punishment must not be so severe that children will tell 
lies to escape it. Whipping children, slapping them, and put- 
ting them into dark closets are the kinds of punishment that 
make them afraid and make them tell lies. 

Sometimes children tell you they saw a fairy or a fox or 
something else. You know they did not see this. Some mothers 
get frightened and think their children are beginning to tell 

These are not lies. They are little stories about things the 
child likes to think of. Tell him that was a nice story. Tell 
him you like to hear his nice story, but that he can make it still 
nicer. He can say before he begins that he is going to tell a 
make-believe story. Then he can tell you any funny thing he 

One little girl told about some elephants she saw in the street. 
Her father took her hand and said, " I want to see them, too. Come, 
show them to me." Then she said, " You couldn't see them, daddy. 
They are make-believe elephants." He told her he liked make-believe 
elephants, too, only he liked to know which kind she was talking about. 
After that she always told him whether she was talking about make- 
believe things or about real things. 

34 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 

Do you always tell the truth to your child? Do you some- 
times threaten punishments which you know you can not carry 
out? Can your child trust everything you do and say? If not, 
you must expect that your child will also tell or act lies. 


1. When one of your children is brighter or quicker than the 
other, what do you do or say to keep them both happy? 

2. You have planned a holiday at the seashore for your family. 
How do you teach your little child to like to go swimming in the ocean? 

3. If an older child is afraid, how do you teach him not to be 
afraid? What has made him afraid? 

4. Your little girl is on her way to school. She cries when a little 
dog runs after her to play. How do you help her not to be afraid? 

5. How do you find out if your child is the one who has broken 
the window in the house next door? How do you punish him? 

6. Your little girl tells the mother of her little friend about the 
beautiful dresses you wear, the big parties you give, and the new car 
her daddy drives. You know these things are not quite true. How do 
you make her understand the difference between telling the neighbors 
what she wishes her mother had done and what you really did do? 


Everyday Problems of the Everyday Child, by D. A. Thom, M. D., pp. 
150-181 and 248-261. D. Appleton & Co. New York, 1927. 

Child Management, by D. A. Thom, M. D., pp. 18-24 and 36-38. United 
States Children's Bureau Publication No. 143 (Revised). Wash- 
ington, 1928. 



Three mothers were talking together about their children. 

Mrs. White said, " My little girl wets her bed every night. I 
do not know how to stop it." 

Mrs. Smith said, " I can tell you. My little boy used to wet 
his bed. He was 3 years old. Every night he wet his bed. 
Every day I had to dry the mattress. Every day I had to wash 
the sheets. 

" My house never looked nice, because I could not make up 
the bed until very late. . 

" I was ashamed. 

" Then I took my little boy to the clinic. The doctor said 
that he was not sick. He said, ' A child 3 years old is too big 
to wet his bed.' He told me what to do. 

" First, I must not let him drink anything after 5 o'clock 
in the afternoon. 

" Second, he must go to the toilet before going to bed. He 
must go to bed at 7 o'clock. 

" Third, before I go to bed at 10 o'clock I must wake him up. 
I must make sure he is awake. Then I must put him on the 

" I did this every night. 

" In the morning his bed was always dry. 

" No matter how tired or how busy I was, I always did this. 
Now he has formed the habit of a dry bed." 

Mrs. Jones said, " That is what the doctor told me, too. 
Now my children never wet the bed any more. I do not let 
them drink anything after 5 o'clock. I put them on the toilet 
before they go to bed. I put them to bed early. Then I wake 
them when I am ready to go to bed, and I put them on the toilet 
again. I have no bad-smelling sheets to wash in the morning. 
I can make the beds early." 

Mrs. White said, " I shall start to do all that to-night." 


36 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 

The next time she saw her friends she said, "My little girl 
has stopped that bad habit. Thank you for telling me what 
to do." 

Do not scold your child because he wets the bed. This 
will only make him worse. Praise him when he has kept his 
bed dry. 

Be sure that you help him by always waking him when 
you go to bed and taking him to the toilet. If he is big enough, 
let him go to the toilet alone after you have waked him. He 
will learn to have dry nights instead of wet nights. 



Does your child suck his thumb or his fingers? 

Tiny babies do this because they like to suck anything that 
goes into their mouths. Soon it becomes a habit. Some babies 
start the habit when they are teething. 

The best way to break the habit is this: Give the baby a 
toy to hold that he can suck or bite on — a hard ring or rattle, 
or a spoon if he is not too little. It must be clean, of course. 
In this way a little baby will forget his fingers for a while. Next 
time he will forget them longer. Keep on. Do not scold. Keep 
him busy with interesting toys. Baby will forget about his 
thumb when he has toys in his hands. 

Have interesting toys and games for older children. Toys 
and games that make them use both hands are best. 

If your child has this habit, let him hold a toy while he 
goes to sleep. Give him a different toy every night. Then he 
will not ask to hold a certain toy. It is best for him to go to 
sleep with nothing to hold, but perhaps a toy to take to bed 
will help him to forget his fingers. 

Does Your Child Have Bad Physical Habits? 37 


Nail biting comes when children are a little older. Break 
up that habit in the same way. 

Do not scold. Give the child interesting things to do. 
Praise him when he tries and does well. Keep your nails clean 
and smoothly cut. Let him see that you take good care of them. 
Glean and file and polish every one of his nails that he does not 
bite. Five-year-old children like this. Tell him how pretty 
those fingers look. Give him a nail file for his very own so that 
he can help when he does not bite his nails any more. Show 
him that you can not make the nails that he bites look nice. 

Do not worry about thumb sucking and nail biting. Per- 
haps your child keeps biting his nails so that you will pay 
attention to him. 


1. Do you know anything else to do to break your child of the 
habit of wetting the bed? 

2. How would you get your child to help you in breaking this 

3. Have you ever tried to find out why your child bites his nails 
or sucks his fingers? Is he bashful? Is he nervous? Is he hungry? Is 
he sleepy? Is there some other reason? 

4. How can you get him to help you break him of this habit? 


Parents worry sometimes because they see their child han- 
dling or rubbing their sex organs. 

Do not be upset if you see this. It is not true that this habit 
makes children " crazy." 

Instead, say to yourself, " This is a habit I must break. I 
must not scold. I must make him forget about it. I will let 
him play till he is so tired he will go to sleep right away. If 
he wakes too early to get up, I will have toys on his bed for 
him to play with. I will never let him He in bed with nothing 
to do." 

If a boy is placed on his right side when he is put into 
bed he is less likely to practice this habit. 

38 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 

Giving him a toy to hold may help him to forget this 
habit just as it helps a baby to forget about sucking his thumb. 
Do not give him the same toy every night or he will think he 
can not go to sleep unless he holds a certain one. After he 
forgets about handling his sex organs, it is best for him to go 
to sleep quietly with nothing to hold. 

Keep him busy and happy through the day. Then he will 
forget this habit just as he forgot to suck his thumb. 

This habit is much like thumb sucking. Little children 
want to find out about everything around them. They want 
to put their hands on things, because they learn much through 
their fingers. 

You know how little babies grab their toes and play with 
them. They do the same with their hands. Sometimes a baby, 
feeling over his body, gets a pleasant feeling. Then he will 
try to get that feeling again. 

It does not matter whether the pleasant feeling comes from 
having his fingers in his mouth or from touching any other part 
of his body. It is natural for him to want to do it again. 

Sometimes children get a pleasant feeling by squeezing 
their thighs together, or by straddling stair rails or arms of 
chairs. They learn this by accident, and they may try it again. 

Do not get excited about these things. Keep the child's 
body clean. See that his clothes are not too tight. 

Stop these habits by giving your child other pleasant things 
to do. He will forget the bad habits. 

If he keeps on doing these things after you have tried to 
make him forget, ask the doctor to examine him. Perhaps 
there is something not quite right with the child's body. The 
doctor will make it right. Then you will be able to break the 

Does Your Child Have Bad Physical Habits? 39 


A star chart helps a child to form a good habit and to 
break a bad one. 

Get a blue or a red pencil or some tiny gold stars. 
Rule a paper like this — 









Show the paper and pencil and the stars to your child. Ask 
him if he would like to help you make a beautiful star chart. 

Say, " See, here is a space for to-day, and here is one for 
to-morrow, and here for the next day, and next, and next. 
To-morrow morning when you have kept your bed dry we will 
put a beautiful gold star in this space. The next day when 
you have kept your bed dry we will put another star in this 
space. And every day just the same until we will have a star 
in every space. Then the chart will be j^ours to keep. If you 
like, we can put it up on the wall. Up in the long space on top 
we will write what you are going to do. ' I kept my bed dry.' " 

If you can not buy gold stars, make a star with a red or 
a blue pencil. 

But remember, give him no star on the days he does not 
keep his bed dry. And always give him a star when he does 
keep it dry, even if he has been naughty in other ways. 

40 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 

Does your child eat his vegetables? You can help him to 
form this habit by using a star chart. He can paste on a gold 
star every day when he eats all his vegetables. Help him to 
get a whole week of stars, then two weeks, then a month. He 
will probably eat his vegetables always after that. 

Sometimes it is good to promise a special treat when the 
spaces are all filled. It helps, too, to show the chart to grand- 
mother, or uncle, or some other grown-up person, at the end 
of each week. Four weeks is a long time to a child. 

Do not be discouraged if he does not get stars every day at 
first. Talk about a week of stars at first; see if he can get a 
star every day for a whole week. Show him you are proud of 
him when he tries. When he does not get a star do not scold. 
Say, " I'm sorry about to-day, but I know you can get one to- 
morrow. Soon you will be big enough to have a whole week 
of stars." Then another week, and another! Soon the month 
will pass. 

A star chart helps little children the most, but bigger chil- 
dren like one, too, sometimes. It helps them to see just what 
they have done. They can see they have done better this week 
than last week. Or they can see, by the empty spaces, that they 
must try harder to break the old habit, or it will beat them. 


1. What is the greatest problem you have in training your child? 
Would a star chart help you to solve this problem? 

2. How many other ways can you think of to use a star chart? 


Everyday Problems of the Everyday Child, by D. A. Thom, M. D., pp. 
84-115. D. Appleton & Co. New York, 1927. 

Child Management, by D. A. Thom, M. D., pp. 11-17 and 30-32. United 
States Children's Bureau Publication No. 143 (Revised). Wash- 
ington, 1928. 



Have you ever stopped to think what kind of mind your 
child has? 

Is he very bright? 

Is he quick but careless? 

Is he slow but careful ? 

Is he quick with his head but slow with his hands? 

Is he slow with his head but quick with his hands ? 

Is he slow in every way? 

You must know these things. If you do not, perhaps you 
will ask him to do things that he can not do. 

A child who has a quick mind can do things when he is 
much younger than a child who has a slow mind. 

When you ask a child to do things he can not do, he be- 
comes discouraged and afraid. That is a bad habit to form. 

Perhaps your baby is bright and always moving. Do you 
try to keep him quiet because he makes the house look untidy? 
He can learn to do things only by doing them. Is it better to 
have a baby whose mind is growing right or a house that is 
always in order? 

Perhaps you let him do anything he wants, so that your 
house is always untidy. That is bad, too. He must learn not to 
break things. He must learn to put his toys away in order. 


42 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 

Perhaps he never finishes the things you have given him 
to do. Have you given him too big a job? A small child can not 
stay on a job as long as you can. It is good to give him several 
short jobs, not one long one. Try to make him understand that 
his job is very important. 

If he is not so bright as Johnny, remember that is not his 
fault. Do not say, " Why can't you be like Johnny ? " He will 
get discouraged and stop trying. Ask him to do the things he 
can do. Let him know you are pleased when he does them. 
Then he will want to do more and he will learn more. Every 
person learns better and does more when he thinks he is doing 
well. Help each child to do his best, and be proud of the best 
each child can do. 

Children are often smart in some things and slow in others. 
Perhaps you have given your child good training in what he 
does well and poor training in what he does badly. It is just 
as smart for a child to dress himself alone as it is to sing a 

Do you try to "show off" your baby? Do you try to push 
him ahead too fast? Children must grow bigger and smarter. 
They must not be pushed or they will grow all wrong like a 
crooked plant. 

You are afraid your child will think he is smart and will 
want to " show off " because he is bright. So you tell him 
he is stupid. That is bad, too. He will believe you. He will 
stop trying to learn what you want him to know. Always praise 
him when he really tries. Tell him it is good and you are 

Do you talk about your child's smartness or slowness be- 
fore him? If he is bright, he will get conceited. If he is slow, 
his feelings will be hurt. 

Are You Helping Your Child to Grow Up? 43 

Are you helping your child to understand the things around 

Every day a child finds out about something new. He 
wants to tell about it and ask questions about it. Do you say, 
" Go away, don't bother me," when he conies to tell you about 
it? Soon he will not tell you what he is thinking, nor what is 
happening to him. Then you will be sorry. He will be sorry, 
too, for he would like to talk to you about his discoveries if 
he thought you would understand. 

If you do not know the answers to his questions, try to find 
them. Get his attention before you answer. Answer in words 
he can understand. 

How can you teach your child how to use his hands and 
his body? 

This is as important as teaching him to read and write. 
He can begin this long before he goes to school. 

You can let him use tools. Perhaps he will dull them or 
break them. That is all right. He will soon learn to use them 
well. Of course you can do it better. But if you do it, how 
can he learn? 

He can learn to balance and control his body by climbing 
stairs or a ladder or fence in the back yard, or by helping you 
to serve the dessert at dinner. 

He can learn to dress himself, if you give him clothes that 
are easy to put on. 

He can learn to wash his hands and face if you give him a 
box to stand on in front of the washbasin. 

When he finds that something is hard to do, do not say 
before him, " He takes after me. I never could learn to jump," 
or " He takes after his father. He breaks everything he tries 
to fix." 

When you say this you are teaching him that it is of no use 
to try. Probably he could do it very well after a little while if 
you let him try. 

116952°— 30 4 

44 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 

You can teach your child to be polite by being polite to him. 

Do you remember to say " thank you " when he gives you 

Do you interrupt him when he is talking to you? You do 
not like him to interrupt you. 

Do you eat candy or things that he can not have when he 
is in the room and not offer him some? You would not do this 
to a grown person. 

Children like to imitate the people they love. Imitate 
means to do just what others do. Your child will be polite to 
your friends if you treat him politely. 

You can see that he has a chance to play with children of 
his own age. If he is with grown people too much he is always 
" the baby." If he plays always with much younger children 
he will get too bossy and conceited. He needs to play with 
children who want to do the same kind of things he does — 
sometimes better, sometimes not so well. 

You can read to him and tell him stories. You can get him 
to read more to himself or to you. 

You can try to make him think for himself. You can try 
to make him work things out for himself. He must begin this 
early when he is a little child. Then, when he is grown up, 
he will be independent. The world will not be hard for him. 
He can take care of himself and of other people. He will be a 
good citizen. 

You can teach him to play by himself for an hour or two 
every day. Even a little baby can be taught to play by himself 
for a while every day. You can let a little child plan his own 
play and work it out by himself or with other children of his 
own age. You can teach him to put away his toys every night. 

You can give your little child some easy household duty 
to do every day to " help mother," such as bringing in the paper 
or helping to set the table. 

Each month or two give him something harder to do. Let 
him learn to do things by himself. Teach him to keep trying 
until he learns. Do not discourage him by laughing at him or 
by telling him he is not doing it right. Do not do it for him. 

Are You Helping Your Child to Grow Up? 45 


Mary's mother took her to kindergarten when she was 4 years old. 
Mary could not take off her coat. Her mother did it for her. She 
could not hang it up. Her mother did that for her, too. She could not 
feed herself. She could not cut with scissors. She could not make 
pictures. Her mother had always done these things for her. 

She came to school every day, but she did not learn. When she 
walked she fell down. She could not talk much. She acted like a 
stupid little girl. 

The teacher said to her mother, " Was she a sick little baby? " 

"Oh, no," said her mother, "she was always well. She was so 
strong she began to creep and walk too early. She got into my things 
and broke them. So I never let her walk. I do everything for her." 

The teacher said, " Poor mother and poor little Mary! You wanted 
to be good to your baby, but you were bad to her. Children must be 
doing things all the time. They must be active. That is the way they 
learn. Wkn you do not let them move about you keep them from 
learning. You make them act like stupid children. Will you help me 
try to show how bright Mary really is? " 

Of course, Mary's mother said " Yes." She let Mary dress herself. 
She let her feed herself. She let her run and climb. 

In school Mary did these things, too. Soon she was a busy little 
girl. She did not act stupid any more. She learned how to do new 
things every day. 

Her mother came to the teacher and said, " I used to be happy when 
I could do things for Mary. I did not know I was making her seem 
stupid. Now I am happy when I see her do things for herself." 


1. If your child does not learn to dress himself as young as he 
should, do you do it for him? How do you teach him to dress himself? 

2. If your child can not run as fast as the other boys or can not 
win in the games he plays, do you let him play by himself always? 

3. Does your child try to do everything but finish nothing? How 
do you train him to finish what he starts and to do things well? 

46 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 



Sex education is like any other kind of education. 

When the children ask questions, tell them the best answer 
you know. If you do not know the answer, tell them that you 
do not know but that you will try to find out. 

It does not matter what they ask. If they ask where money 
comes from, tell them. If they ask where eggs come from, tell 
them. // they ask where babies come from, tell them. Tell 
them in the same way you told about the eggs and the money. 

It is good for children to know they can ask their fathers 
and mothers anything and get truthful answers. 

It is bad for them to hear wrong answers. If they ask boys 
and girls, they will nearly always get wrong answers. Wrong 
answers mix them up and make them afraid to talk to you 
about what they want to know. 

Do not tell your child that the stork brought the new baby 
or that the doctor brought him in his bag. He will not under- 
stand this. Or perhaps he will not believe it. And he will only 
find out later that you have lied to him. Tell him the truth 

If there is to be a new baby in the family, tell your child 
before the baby comes that he is going to have a baby brother 
or a baby sister. Tell him that the baby grows in mother's body, 
that it starts as a tiny egg or cell which is so very small that 
it must stay inside mother for a long, long time. The baby lives 
inside of mother for nine months. Mother keeps the baby 
warm inside her body until it is big enough to live in the outside 

If your child asks how the baby gets out into the world, tell 
him that when it grows big enough it will come out into the 
world through a little passage in mother's body. The doctor 
will help the baby come out. 

If later he asks how the little baby was put into mother's 
body, or why father doesn't have babies, tell him again that the 
baby grew from a very tiny round egg or cell which was in 
mother's body, but it would not grow until father also placed a 
tiny cell there. The- baby comes from two cells, one from 
father and one from mother, but the baby always grows inside 
mother's body. 

Are You Helping Your Child to Grow Up? 47 

You can show your child the seeds hidden in an apple. 
Tell him that these seeds grew from two tiny cells, one from the 
mother apple blossom and one from the father apple blossom. 
The seeds grew in the mother blossom and the apple grows 
around the seeds to protect them until they are grown. Show 
your child how a seed is planted in the ground. It must grow 
there until it is big enough to come up into the light. Then the 
plant grows bigger and bigger. Let your child watch the flowers 

Tell your child about little babies the first time he asks you. 
Do not make him ask other people. It is best to answer his 
question as soon as he asks it. Do not put it off because you 
think he is too little to understand. Do not let him think you do 
not want to answer his question about babies. 

He may forget what you tell him and ask the same ques- 
tion again later. No matter, answer it again just as you did 
before. Each time he asks questions he will learn a little more. 

Always answer what he asks, so that he will come to you 
with the next question and not go to some one else. 

If you answer his questions truthfully in a quiet easy man- 
ner, he will not think much about this subject. 

You do not need to tell a little child more than he asks. 
He will ask more when he wants to know more. 

If he asks at a time when you can not talk to him, tell him 
to wait until a little later, when you will have more time to talk 
to him. 

Be sure to keep this promise. It is important. All promises 
are important. 

If your child has not begun to ask questions about babies 
by the time he is 6 years old, it is wise to encourage him to ask 
by showing him how flowers are fertilized with pollen and how 
the seeds grow in the ovary of the mother flower, after the pol- 
len has stuck to the pistil. You can encourage him to ask ques- 
tions about insects and animals, and soon he will ask where 
babies come from. 

Tell your child that there are some things that are not talked 
about with everyone, only with father and mother. He will talk 
about where babies come from only with mother and father 
if you always answer his questions as soon as he asks them. 

48 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 


Ruth was 5 years old. The little girl next door had a new baby 
brother. Ruth wanted one too. 

She asked her mother to tell her how to get one. 

" Mother will tell you all about it when you are older. Do net 
talk about it now," -said her mother. 

Ruth wondered why her mother did not want to talk to her. 
She had always answered all the other questions she had asked her. 

She asked the little girl next door about the baby. She said her 
mother told her that the doctor brought the baby in his bag, but she 
knew this could not be true. 

They talked it over with some other children. They all laughed 
and told Ruth that mothers will not talk about such things. They made 
her feel queer and ashamed. She was lonesome and unhappy because 
she wanted her mother to help her, and her mother did not answer her 

She did not ask her mother again. 

It was not good for her to think of this so much. 

If her mother had answered her questions, she soon would have 
forgotten about the baby and thought of other things. 


1. Are you expecting a new baby in your home? Are you letting 
your older child help you plan for the new one? How did you tell him 
about it? 

2. How do you get your child to talk about certain things only 
with father and mother? 


Everyday Problems of the Everyday Child, by D. A. Thorn, M. D., pp. 
27-49, 262-288, 303-327. D. Appleton & Co. New York, 1927. 

Child Management, by D. A. Thorn, M. D., pp. 4-7, 29-32, and 45-47. 
United States Children's Bureau Publication No. 143 (Revised). 
Washington, 1928. 

Out of Babyhood into Childhood, pp. 2 and 4. United States Children's 
Bureau Folder No. 10. Washington, 1929. 


When you give the children toys, remember that they like 
to do things themselves. 

Give them toys that can be taken apart and put together 
again. Do not choose a toy that can be used in one way only, 
for a child will soon tire of it. 

A toy that breaks soon or gets out of order easily is not a 
good toy. 

Play is a child's job, and playthings are his tools. All work- 
men must have good tools or they can not do good work. 

A child learns much through toys. Rattles teach a tiny 
baby how to hold things. Blocks, spools, clothespins, a string of 
buttons, and animals that can be washed are good toys for 
babies before they are old enough to walk. They teach them 
about different noises and different shapes and the different 
feel of things. 

Balls are good toys. There are many kinds of balls, and 
children play with them in many ways. There are big balls and 
little balls, soft balls and hard balls, rubber balls, wool balls, 
red balls and blue balls, heavy balls and light balls, balls that 
bounce and balls that don't. Children like them. Even babies 
like to roll them on the floor. There are balloons, too. They 
are a kind of ball. A child learns new things from balloons. 
He finds he must handle them gently or they will break. He 
learns, too, from balloons about things that go up in the air. 

Children from 1 to 5 years need blocks for toys so that they 
can build towers, houses, tracks, steps, boxes, pens, walls. The 
smallest children need small blocks. The 2 or 3 year old also 
needs large blocks. These can be made like boxes with the 
covers nailed on. They will not be so heavy as solid blocks. 


50 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 

A child loves dolls and animal toys because he can pretend 
they are alive and make games about them. It is good to buy 
dolls and animals that can be cleaned easily. 

A child can be happy a long time on sunny days in a sand 
pile. He loves to dig, to make heaps, and to fill and empty 
boxes, pails, or some toy. A big kitchen spoon will do for a 
shovel and a tin cup for a pail. As he grows older, he will build 
towns and work out other plans in the sand with his playmates. 
If you have a back yard, it is a great help to build a sand box 
there where the little children can play alone but where you can 
watch them from a window. 

A child will spend many happy hours cutting pictures from 
paper. Give him a pair of scissors with round ends and an old 
magazine or newspaper. 

Here is something to think about. Isn't it true that most 
grown people buy the kind of toys they like themselves? Don't 
they say, " See this cunning monkey ! He climbs a ladder when 
you wind him up. I'll get him for Freddy." Freddy likes an 
animal he can hug and pull around, but he sometimes gets one 
that is too big for him to hold or one that he does not under- 
stand how to play with by himself, because his grown-up friends 
like it. We really are selfish, aren't we, when we do this? 

A child 1 to 3 years old likes to play with the things in the 
house. He learns much in this way. So do not have furniture 
in his room that is too fine for him to touch. This is the way he 
finds out what the different objects in the house are and how 
to use them. He enjoys pots and pans of different sizes, a chair 
to push around or a box to climb upon, boxes with covers to 
open and shut, a bunch of keys to rattle, doors to shut, drawers 
to open and close. He can learn much by playing with a wheel- 
barrow or a strong little wagon. 

He likes to handle paper. You can teach him to turn the 
pages of a book carefully. He likes to look at pictures, too; so 
he does two things he likes when he looks at pictures in books. 

Does Your Child Have the Right Playthings? 51 

He likes to scribble. Soft pencils and colored crayons are 
fine toys. Wrapping paper cut into squares will help him to 
learn where he may write so that walls and books will not be 

Children from 3 to 5 years old like a smooth board to play 
with. They can do many things with a board. They can use it 
as a seesaw. They can put one end on a box or on the steps of 
the house and use it as a slide. They can put it across two low 
boxes and learn to balance themselves as they walk along it. 
TTiey also like a small ladder to climb or to hang on. Packing 
boxes which are smooth and have no nails or splinters in them 
are good for the playyard or playroom. 

A child 3 or 4 years old needs playmates. They teach him 
to get along with other children. With his playmates he enjoys 
swings and seesaws as well as tumbling about in games. This 
kind of play makes him strong. 

A very small child will imitate the children he sees around 
him, and so learn to do the things they can do. A little later he 
will take an active part in the games the children are playing. 
If he learns to play nicely with children when he is little, he will 
know how to work well with other people when he is a man. 

Children from 2 to 5 years old want to do what mother 
does — sweep, wash dishes, carry dishes, set the table, dust, 
make the beds. They like to play with cloth, to roll it up and 
fold it and put it in boxes. They want to wash and iron it like 
mother. Your child will be happy and quiet a long time with 
a bit of dough to mix and play with. 

This is the time to let him form the habit of helping. It is 
fun for him, and he is learning good habits of thoughtfulness 
and of doing careful work, too. So you mothers must be very 
patient and not worry if the housework goes more slowly than 
if you were doing it alone. You are really saving time, for you 
are training a good, happy, busy child, who is learning to work 
well and to want to help you always. 

52 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 

Every child must learn to take care of his toys. Dirty, 
broken toys teach him to be careless. He must have a box to 
keep his toys in, or a drawer or a low shelf that he can reach 
easily. He must learn to put them away when he is through 
playing with them. He should learn to play with a few toys and 
to put them away before he takes out others. 

Toys that are easily broken are not good for children. 
After they are broken, children do not like them any more, and 
they ask for new ones. That is not a good habit to form. It is 
not good to get tired of things quickly and to want somethiifg 
new right away. 

Your child should have a corner of his own where he can 
work or play undisturbed when he wants to be alone. If there 
is only one child in your family, you should see that he also 
plays with other children. 


1. Why is it wise to let children play in the sand boxes? 

2. Why do children enjoy playing with dolls, and household 
articles in small sizes. 

3. How does playing on swings and seesaws help children? 

4. Does your child have a place of his very own to keep his toys? 
Does he put them away after he finishes playing? How do you teach 
him to do this? 


Everyday Problems of the Everyday Child, by D. A. Thom, M. D., pp. 
328-340. D. Appleton & Co. New York, 1927. 

Out of Babyhood into Childhood, p. 4. United States Children's Bureau 
Folder No 10. Washington, 1929. 


To be a good father or mother is one of the hardest jobs on 
earth. It is the finest, biggest job, too. 

Some parents do not know how to do the right things for 
their children. They want to do the best things for them, but 
they make mistakes. They make it hard for their children to 
grow up happy and strong and good. 

Here are some mistakes parents often make. Do you make 
them, too? 

(1) Are you so afraid the children will get hurt 
that you will not let them run and play and climb out- 
doors? You keep them from learning to be strong and 

(2) Are you so afraid they will get sick that you 
talk about being sick before them? Soon the children 
will think they are sick. They will form the habit of 
being sick. A child likes to have his parents worried 
about him. He gets attention. 

Sometimes the children will make-believe that they 
are sick sO that you will let them stay home from 
school. Sometimes they will make-believe they are 
sick so that you will let them be lazy. Sometimes they 
will make-believe they are sick so that you will do what 
they want, 

(3) Can you tell when your child is really sick? 
Watch him when he is well. Notice the way he stands 
or walks, the color of his skin, the color of his tongue, 
if his skin is too hot or too cold, how much sleep he 
usually gets, and how active he usually is. Notice, too, 
the number of bowel movements he has each day, and 
the color and amount of his urine. Then you will 
know when he is really sick. Of course if he is really 
sick he should not go to school or go among other 


54 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 

(4) Do you try to give your child everything he 
wants, just because he asks for it? When he is big, 
he will not always be with you. He will be with other 
people. They will not give him everything he wants 
just because he asks for it. Then he will think he is 
not treated right. He will change from one job to 
another. He will not be happy. He will not be suc- 
cessful. While he is little you must teach him he can 
not have everything he wants just because he asks 
for it. 

(5) Do you tell lies to your child to make him do 
what you want? He will soon find out that the " bad 
man " does not come and get him. Then he will not 
believe anything you tell him. Then he will lie to you. 
You have taught him to lie. 

(6) Do you boss your child too much? How can 
he learn then to think things out for himself? How 
can he learn to do things for himself? How can he 
learn to decide for himself when he is big and away 
from you. 

You must give him a chance to learn now, while 
he is at the best learning age. You must let him do 
more and more for himself. Do not say, " Now get the 
knives. Now get the forks. Now get the spoons. 
Now get the glasses," Let him think for himself, 

(7) Do you say, "Don't" or "Stop" every time 
your child starts to do something? A child who hears 
" Don't " or " Stop " every time he moves is like a per- 
son with his hands tied. 

How can tied hands ever learn to be useful? 
When you do everything for your child, so that he 
does not learn how to do things himself, you are 1 
making him seem stupid, 


(8) Do you want to keep your child's love for 
yourself? That is very selfish. It keeps the child from 
making friends. A good mother is happy to see her 
child happy, no matter where he is. She is a bad 
mother if she is sorry when he is happy without her. 

The Job of Being a Parent 55 

(9) Do you " baby " and pet your child too much? 
If you do everything for him and keep him like a baby, 
he will not grow up to be independent. Such a child is 
a spoiled child. You have spoiled him. 

You are being selfish when you teach him that he 
can not eat unless you feed him, or that he can not go 
to sleep unless you lie down with him. You are being 
good to yourself, because you like to take care of him. 
But you are being bad to him. 


Anna was 4 years old. She had never been away from her mother. 
When her mother brought her to kindergarten she said to the teacher, 
"Anna has never been away from me. I am afraid she will cry. I am 
afraid she will be very unhappy. She loves me so much that she 
wants to be with me all the time. I will come back in a little while." 

She hugged and kissed Anna and said, " Don't cry, dear. Mother 
will come back very soon." 

Of course Anna cried. Her mother had put it into her head. But 
after her mother had gone, she began to watch the other children. She 
had never seen so many children. She had never had so many inter- 
esting things to play with. 

She stopped crying and began to play. When her mother came 
back she was laughing and happy; but when she saw her mother, she 
ran to her and began to cry again. Her mother thought that Anna 
cried because she wanted to be with her and to go home with her. 
Anna always cried at home when she left her. 

She did not understand that Anna could be happy without her. 

She wanted Anna to be most happy when she was with her. 

She did not want Anna to grow up and be independent and able 
to take care of herself. 

She took Anna away from the kindergarten and did not let her go 
back again. 

Was she a good mother? 

Was she thinking about Anna or about herself? 

Did she love Anna in a good way or in a selfish way? 

What kind of girl do you think Anna will be when she is big? 

56 Are You Training Your Child to be Happy? 

Don't worry. Children grow up right like plants that have 
good earth and sun and rain, if you give them the chance. 
When you worry and get angry and afraid, you take away that 
chance. You keep them from growing right. 

Common sense and kindness are never wrong. The next 
time you do not know what to do, try to do the thing that will 
be both sensible and kind. It will not be really sensible and 
kind unless it will help to form good habits for the children to 
use as they grow up. 

Keep learning more and more about your job as a parent. 
Don't think you know it all. Nobody does. The job is too big. 

We all make mistakes, but we can learn from our own mis- 
takes. We can learn to help one another, too, by telling what 
we have found out about being a good parent. Many parents 
are forming little clubs to talk over these things. 

Ask yourself these questions: 

What did Johnnie do to-day that troubled me? Was I 
impatient with him? Why? 

Did I have too little sleep last night? 

Was I worried? 

Did I eat food that did not agree with me? 

Did something I did to Johnnie last week cause this? 

Did I manage it then the right way, so it would not happen 

What did Johnnie do that was good to-day? 

Did I praise him for it so that he will want to do it again? 


Everyday Problems of the Everyday Child, by D. A. Thorn, 
M. D. D. Appleton & Co. New York, 1927. 

Child Management, by D. A. Thorn, M. D. United States Children's Bu- 
reau Publication No 143 (Revised). Washington, 1928. 

Keeping the Well Baby Well. United States Children's Bureau Folder 
No. 9. Washington, 1928. 

Out of Babyhood into Childhood. United States Children's Bureau 
Folder No. 10. Washington, 1929. 

Why Sleep? United States Children's Bureau Folder No. 11. Wash- 
ington, 1929. 

The Job of Being a Parent 57 



In these 12 lessons we have been saying a few things over 
and over. They are so important we want you to be sure to 
remember them. Here they are again. 

Tell and act the truth to your children. 

Keep your promises, good or bad. Think before you 
threaten or promise : "Can I really carry out my threats or my 
promises ? " If you can not, the children will learn that you 
do not tell them the truth. 

Decide which things are most important for a child to do 
and then be consistent about seeing that he does them. Do 
not nag him about little things that do not matter very much. 

Do not say " No " one time and " Yes " the next time for the 
same thing. Your child will never learn that way what is good 
to do and what is bad. If you have said, " Bed at 7," do not say, 
" Well, this one time you may stay up till 8." 

The best way to break up a bad habit in a child is to keep 
the child so busy with interesting things to do that he forgets 
the old habit. 

Pay no attention to him when he tries to get what he wants 
by temper tantrums, by whining, or by vomiting. 

See that he gets things (if they are good for him) only when 
he is quiet and happy and polite. 

Keep cool and quiet yourself. Speak in a quiet voice. 

Show the child you are pleased when he tries. 

Have you tried any new ways to make your child happy and good 
since you started reading these lessons? 

Which lessons did you find most helpful? 

Write to the United States Children's Bureau in Washington, T>. C, 
i£ you have questions that you would like taken up in other lessons. 




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